By Kelsey Jacobson
On Thursday, December 3rd, the 27th Annual Radiothon to End Child Abuse will be broadcasted live at Lueken’s. Village Foods.
In 1987, the Radiothon to End Child Abuse was started by Lou Buron and Mary Campbell at a radio station in the Twin Cities. Later, Buron and Campbell formed Omni Broadcasting in 1989. After moving to Bemidji, they saw a need for increased child abuse preventative facilities reaching from Bemidji to Alexandria. The first Bemidji Radiothon was in 1989 with the help of the radio station KB101. In 1994, Buron and Campbell expanded their broadcasting efforts to the Brainerd Lakes area. They then opened it up to the Wadena stations.
Over the years, the Radiothon has raised a total of 1, 010, 021 dollars. This year the Radiothon to End Child Abuse will be broadcasted live at Lueken’s Village North on Thursday, December 3rd from 12-7 pm. At the South location there will be entertainment for the kids, the County Sheriff’s Department will be there for DNA sampling, and the Northwest Technical College Early Childhood students will have activities for children of all ages.
Giovanni’s Pizza of Bemidji will be hosting a Celebrity Waiter Pizza Night to benefit Paul Bunyan Broadcasting’s Radiothon from 5-7 pm on Tuesday, December 1st. Then on the day of the Radiothon, from 5 PM until 8 PM, the Bemidji Eagles Club will have vendors selling holiday gifts for the One Stop Holiday Shop. These events within the community benefit partnered agencies with the Radiothon to help new mothers value the connection with their children.
Last year 1, 370 tickets were sold for the quilt raffle and this year Kat and Dave will be broadcasting live in the Paul Bunyan Broadcasting studio starting at 7 PM Thursday night until noon on Friday when the winner will be announced for the quilt raffle. During that time, people can call in and pledge and listeners will be able to learn more about child abuse during the broadcast.
Kris Jacobson from Paul Bunyan Broadcasting is in charge of the Radiothon to End Child Abuse. “We couldn’t do it without our listeners,” said Jacobson. She is grateful for the community’s support.
Campbell and Buron have now retired, but the tradition is still carried on by community efforts and Paul Bunyan Broadcasting. “People don’t realize certain situations,” said Jacobson. The Radiothon is about helping people know what to do, where to go, and who to contact about child abuse. “People don’t realize how much money you can bring in,” said Jacobson. She is happy about what the community does to raise awareness. The hope for Jacobson is to keep the event going for many years to come. The Radiothon is not only about helping kids, but to bring awareness to parents as well.